Evidently a strong believer in smaller government, Ed Hamilton says that if elected he will shrink the size of the government in Kerr County, Texas, by at least one job—his own.
Hamilton, a 77-year-old Republican, says that the position of treasurer is an unnecessary one that costs the county $46,000 a year, and ought to be eliminated. As it stands, however, the state constitution requires the legislature to provide for county treasurers (and county surveyors), whether anybody needs one or not. Tex. Const. Art. 16, sec. 44. Short of a constitutional amendment (which Hamilton advocates), the strategy appears to be to have a treasurer who won’t do anything, including cash his own checks. And Hamilton is running for that position.
If elected, he said, “I don’t plan to do the job, [and] I won’t accept a paycheck.” His plan is to “hand the duties to someone else”—he didn’t say who that would be—refuse to be paid, and in the meantime petition for a referendum that would allow counties to wipe out treasurers wherever they may be found.
The incumbent Hamilton is challenging feels differently. Mindy Williams, who was appointed to the job last year after the previous occupant resigned, and who is also a Republican, said she was “shocked” by Hamilton’s proposal. She said her position was “essential to county government” because it provides accountability.
Hamilton continues to argue that it is redundant. He says that if he is elected, he will start not doing the job immediately.
Update: Hamilton achieved his goal of not doing anything as treasurer, but did it by losing the election. Williams defeated him in the March 2008 primary (no Democrats ran for the post) by a margin of about two to one. Still, 2,680 people did vote for a candidate who expressly promised to do nothing.